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Mankato, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Mankato teenager was sentenced today to life in prison for murdering a two-year-old child two years ago.

19-year-old Lee Wayne Young Jr. was recently convicted of first-degree murder while committing criminal sexual conduct in connection with the beating death of the toddler. He was given credit for the more than 800 days he has spent in jail, but the sentence means Young will have to wait until he's 38 years old before he is even considered for release on parole.

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Young was 17 years old when he was accused of sexually assaulting the two-year-old boy and then beating him to death. The criminal complaint says Mankato police responded to an apartment complex on the afternoon of April 13, 2021, in response to a threats complaint and encountered a woman screaming something was wrong with her son and blaming the child's obvious injuries on some dogs.

Mankato Dept. of Public Safety photo
Mankato Dept. of Public Safety photo
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The officers attempted lifesaving measures but also observed that the young boy appeared to be dead and his injuries were not consistent with a dog attack and appeared to be non-accidental. The court document says the doctor who later made the official pronouncement of death at the Mayo Clinic Health Hospital in Mankato told officers he had also observed injuries indicative of sexual abuse. That autopsy did find evidence of sexual assault and massive injuries consistent with physical blows to the child's head.

The Blue Earth County Grand Jury investigated the case last year and issued a 25-count indictment against Young that included 13 counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder, and 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct. Several of the charges were dismissed before the case went to trial and Young was acquitted of one of the first-degree murder charges and the second-degree murder count.

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